Holding it all

on Thursday, March 11, 2010

With all this talk of pots, you're probably wondering what's going to hold all of your plants, right? You could use inexpensive storage tubs, cookie sheets, or who knows what else you'll come up with. I personally like getting these seed starting trays.

They come in two styles - those that have a solid bottom, so they'll hold water, and those that, well...have holes:

I prefer to either fill a tray-with-holes with soilless seed starting mix as-is, or fill the same type of tray with pots (such as peat pots or newspaper pots), and then put that tray-with-holes down into a tray that doesn't have holes. That way, when I water, I can feel safe I'm much less likely to have overflow water running all over the place. If I DO overwater, I can then lift the inner tray out to empty the bottom one, or carefully tip the two trays over a watering can, lifting just the corner of the inner tray to filter out the water without losing my growies.

And when you're first starting your new seeds, many benefit from a warm, humid environment. To help keep humidity in, you can purchase clear growing domes that fit over the seed starting trays.

Here's a side-shot to show their height comparison. When the lid is set on top of the tray, their combined height is probably about 3-4 inches total?

And in case you're not looking to start a TON of seeds, check out the smaller size trays with matching grow domes! (I've also seen other shapes and sizes, including trays/domes that are about a quarter the size of the full tray, and also grow domes that are about 3x as tall as the domes you see here).

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying you have to go out and spend a fortune to start your seeds. Do you get carry out food - such as chinese or salad bar fixings? Often times you'll find these places provide the food in a plastic based container, sometimes with a clear dome on top. Or you might get a cheesecake, pie or cake from the bakery with something you can easily rig into a seed starting tray. I've used the leftover rotisserie chicken containers before as well (and they come with convenient carrying handles!)

Just make sure you THOROUGHLY wash out the food storage container, and you'll want to consider water drainage options - either poke holes in the bottom tray and set it in something larger to catch water, or after you've watered and your plants have absorbed as much water as they're going to, pour out the excess water. If you don't, you run the risk of rotting your plants!


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